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June 28, 2022

10/16/2020 9:46:00 AM
Ridgeway school building getting good look for make-over

With the possibility of a building to both serve the needs of the community and provide for growth the Ridgeway Steering and Planning Committee is assessing the possibilities offered by the recently closed Ridgeway Elementary School.
The committee met for the second time Monday with a representative from Strang, the firm that is doing the facility assessment study for the village. They heard a report from Mitchell Branscombe who presented the facility assessments, proposed space utilization and the qualitative needs of the former Ridgeway Elementary School. Proposed interior and exterior layout options were discussed.
The building had been operated as a school since 1939 until this past year when the Dodgeville School Board voted to close it. Ridgeway has been part of the Dodgeville School District since 1963.
Discussion started with the focus of village offices, heat, and asbestos which the committee feels are primary concerns. The committee learned the Dodgeville School District will need to winterize very soon unless a decision is made for the village to purchase the property.
Discussed were community spaces and other spaces that might not need much work to do as one of the first phases. The library space is thought to be primary and the committee feels it would be important to get up and going even if not a total remake.
The committee discussed the lower level on the south end of the building as potentially the Marshals office. It would have separate public flow from the rest of the building but would still be considered part of the overall project. Adding of a garage would possibly be part of the final design.
Discussion on the main floor was focused on how to utilize all the different areas and make ADA compliant while keeping a friendly flow for community events. A senior center, community meeting area/family gathering space were discussed.
The best use of the existing kitchen area was discussed in regard to making the best use of the area.
The committee discussed the potential best use of the office space and meeting rooms and how parking areas might look with different main entrance configurations.
It was noted that none of the building has sprinklers and both the boiler and forced air heating systems are beyond life expectancy. The one boiler is visibly leaking water. Some inquires were put out for quotes on upgrading or replacing but were not available for tonight.
The electrical system is labeled as being in fair condition with biggest issues appear to be fixtures and abandoned wiring that would need to be removed.
The plumbing is labeled as minimal issues. The exception of the fixtures which would need to be upgrades for ADA from elementary school age population.
The committee discussed the upstairs and will explore how much and when investment would be made. Bringing fiber was mentioned as a possible draw. The need for a business incubator space and different options that people are looking as rental space is being considered.
Two options were presented, four and five suites. The future of an elevator was shown but that was decided it might not happen for a couple of years.
Present for the meeting were Mitchell Branscombe of Strang Engineering; Plan Commission Chair/Village President Jon Steen; Plan Commission Member/Trustee Rick Short; Plan Commission Member Kari Phelan; Trustees: Steve Vosberg, Kellee Venden, and Michele Casper; Marshal Michael Gorham; Deputy Clerk Hailey Roessler; and member of the public Bruce Paul.

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